Michelle's story reads like it's straight from a horror story. This is one of the many reasons why we need to help these kids.
This reminds me of the Movie Slumdog Millionaire. In the beginning, the two main characters where fooled into following this "protector", who gave them food and shelter. But this protector and his lackeys basically used the kids to beg for money. And to make the kids more sympathetic, they would drug the kids, then chop off their arm or their leg. Then they would take the kids on a truck, drop them off at spots around the city and have them beg, then collect them at the end of the day. One of the most gruesome scene is where they drug a kid so he passes out. Then they pour boiling liquid onto his eyes to blind him. That way, the kid will win a lot more sympathy and beg a lot more money.
Kids are the most vulnerable simply because they can't fight back at all. They need a good environment to grow in before they can support themselves and be a contributing member so society. Just imagine a very young tree that just sprout its roots. We can't put that tree in the wild right off the bat. It will just die. It needs to be nurtured and grow a bit, and be a bit stronger, before it can handle itself in the wild.
I support the Covenant House because I want to help the less fortunate kids to a better future. There are countless other Michelles across the country, unfortunately, but there is help.